The Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) is characterized by a cold climate and a large number of lakes. The long ice season necessitates study of the widespread ice covers in the region. An unprecedented multidisciplinary field campaign was conducted on lake ice processes in the central QTP during the period 2019–13. The study lake generally froze up in late October or early November, and broke up in mid or late April, with a maximum ice thickness of 50–70 cm. The mass balances at both ice surface and bottom were measured continuously. Significant ice surface sublimation/ablation was detected and accounted for up to 40% of the whole ice thickness over the ice season. A simple heat-transfer model was developed for the surface ice loss. The calculated values were in good agreement with the observations. They also indicated that atmospheric conditions, including low air humidity and prevailing strong winds, are the primary drivers of the ice surface sublimation.